(The following post was shared by Ksenia (aka Ksusha), a first time translator for us and an incredible young woman. We are grateful for all of our translator friends and the important role they play on this trip … and in our lives.)
As a rule, in life people build barriers between each other. We are often afraid of being vulnerable and revealing our true selves, connecting with people for the fear of being hurt. Moreover, we are ashamed of our emotions, ashamed of being humans. I don’t exactly know when it starts happening. Probably during teenage years, when more and more rules and limitations are being imposed on a person by the society, which orders us to behave in a certain way, and if we don’t, we are labelled as outcasts. Obviously, children have a natural capacity for being sincere. Not all of us manage to keep it up when we grow up. Our own mind becomes kind of a veil which prevents us from opening up to the world. This way the whole community loses something incredible and unique.
Each child, each person has fire inside them, but not everybody is able to let their light shine. This light is something which helps us stay sincere, friendly and kind, appreciate every little thing, have courage to express ourselves. That is why I was pleasantly surprised when I met not 1 or 2, but 9 (!) people who carried the light. Their behavior inspired each and every one of us. Not only were they genuine and kind, but also treated kids as equals, listened to their opinions and thoughts. By the end of your stay in Slobodskoy there wasn’t a single child whose light wasn’t shining. You could see it in their eyes, in their growing interest, in the ways some of them tried to overcome their timidity, in acceptance they showed towards their comrades. I think this light has also been passed on to us, the translators. Therefore, I want to thank you all for sharing your light and being true friends. Thank you for showing us that sincerity brings people closer together thus making them stronger. Our major challenge now is to keep this light.